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26 Aug, 2022 11:30

Russian teen in ‘final stage’ of move to Chelsea – journalist

Arsen Zakharyan could seal a move to the Premier League giants
Russian teen in ‘final stage’ of move to Chelsea – journalist

Russian prodigy Arsen Zakharyan could become the latest youngster to join Todd Boehly's Chelsea revolution as the club's new American owner continues to hoover up some of world football's most sought-after prospects.

Dynamo Moscow star Zakharyan, 19, who was earlier this summer named by the Russian Football Union as the most promising young player in the Russian Premier League, is reported to be in the “final stage” of sealing a deal to the London club, according to football reporter Nicolo Schira, and is expected to sign a six-year contract with Thomas Tuchel's team.

This follows reports on Thursday that Chelsea bid €15 million (£12.7 million) for the creative midfielder's services. 

Zakharyan, who has appeared four times for the Russian national team, has been linked to a host of Europe's top clubs, including Real Madrid and Barcelona, after a series of impressive performances for Dynamo Moscow over the last two seasons, but it seems as though Chelsea have stolen a march on their rivals to secure the player's signature.

He had previously become Russia's youngest-ever outfield player when he made his debut for the national side in September 2021 at the age of just 18 years, 3 months and 5 days. 

Should the deal be completed, Zakharyan would join an influx of top young talent into Stamford Bridge.

The club, who are now under the ownership of a consortium fronted by US businessman Boehly after Roman Abramovich sold up in May, have shown a concerted strategy in future-proofing the club by signing some of world football's best talents.

In addition to the pursuit of Zakharyan, Chelsea have in recent weeks signed the highly-rated American goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina from MLS team Chicago Fire, as well as young Englishman Carney Chukwuemeka from Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

The London club have also completed deals for Inter Milan's 19-year-old midfielder Cesare Casadei and ex-Arsenal youngster Omari Hutchinson.

Each of the new signings was handed a six-year contract as Chelsea look to secure a host of promising players to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League. 

Zakharyan would be the third Russian player to feature for Chelsea in the last two decades should he sign, following in the footsteps of ex-national team captain Alexei Smertin and winger Yuri Zhirkov.